• Fiery tails and waggy tails

    The male Black Redstart showed very well again on and off all day yesterday and at least one female was also seen on the rubbish strewn rubble seawall below the metal defences.  A Grey Wagtail and solitary winter Robin have been seen on the same stretch and it looks like the Robin is a bit miffed by his red tailed relatives impinging on his territory.  The big fat Brown Rats just carry on as normal but the male Black Red…

    • 28 Feb 2013
  • Stripely Sniperly

    There has been some even closer than usual probing action in front of the Purfleet Hide in recent days and in a brief moment of sunshine, Dave McGough got these great shots of a couple of our stripy Snipe feeding just out and to the left in the muddy margins.  Will not be too long now till the first Little Ringed Plover is back and feeding in the same area......


    • 28 Feb 2013
  • Slow growers...

    Jerry Hoare took some fabulous close up shots of some of the lichen growing in the woodland.  Such a range in colours and textures.


    • 27 Feb 2013
  • Beefy Bully

    Not content with Brenda getting a Bullfinch shot the other day, Mike Hughes also had a go on Monday and got this shot of the male of the pair.  He is exceptionally rotund!  Andy Tweed at last caught up with them too and the female has been seen again today.  If you fancy having a look it seems that the patch of bushes immediately opposite the second Cordite Store entrance is the most regular spot... good luck!


    • 27 Feb 2013
  • Foreshore Chats

    The male Black Redstart is still present this morning on the foreshore at the end of Ferry Lane.  If you follow the road down and then park at a jaunty angle in the latby on your right, you can walk up to the river wall and view the beach below.  He can be elusive at times but with patience shows well...

    (Paul Hawkins)


    • 26 Feb 2013
  • Beach Black Reds

    Yesterday Nick Croft found a male and two female Black Redstarts feeding on the foreshore to the west of Tilda Rice. A pair are still around today and Andy Tweed got a good shot of the male as he followed a Brown Rat in his quest for food...


    • 26 Feb 2013
  • More Ghostly Gliding....

    .... and the yes the male Hen Harrier has been seen again today; this time over Aveley Marsh before heading south across the river.  A really great bird and glad to have caught up with it.

    (Mike Hughes)

    But also the Barn Owls seem to have been out and about of an evening in the last few days and Michael Frankling got some nice atmospheric shots as it hunted the Enclosed Bay area.


    • 25 Feb 2013
  • Tail flickers

    Water Rails have been quite showy over the last week and several people have had great views as they have fed un-fussed by their human observers. 

    Marion Gatland got some great shots on Thursday and I am still hoping to receive a video link from another visitor.

    Keep checking those reedbed cuttings that we made!


    • 25 Feb 2013
  • Whistling wings

    I did not know that Jerry Hoare had managed to video the two male Goldeneye that I found last Thursday.  If only you could hear the sound of the wings as they take off!  They thrum and make a whistling noise that would allow to even identify them with your eyes closed!

    Great birds and real scarce bird at Rainham...



    • 25 Feb 2013
  • Ghostly apparition

    On Friday the people attending the Gull ID event were lucky enough to also see a male Hen Harrier hunting over the silt lagoons from up on the landfill.  This almost gull-like predator was unfortunately too far away for me to pick it out from the centre!

    It was seen again yesterday and again today and is probably best  looked for from the Serin Mound viewpoint.

    (Paul Hawkins)

    Also seen today were the following...

    • 24 Feb 2013
  • At last....

    Brenda has at last got a picture of Bullfinch in the woodland!  Lots of other people wish that they were as lucky!


    • 23 Feb 2013
  • Curious visitors

    With a cold Easterly blowing we predicted that we might get some interesting wildfowl... perhaps a small party of White-fronted Geese or some Bewick's Swans... but no... we get a family party of five Black Swans that came in from the east at about 8am. They landed on the closest bit of Purfleet Scrape and after orientating a bit settled down for a kip.  They are still here this evening and (please do not laugh) are…

    • 21 Feb 2013
  • Good Gulling

    The first day of our special Gull ID event with Klaus Malling Olsen went off very well (infact they are still in the after gulling presentation as I type!).  All the usual suspects were seen including a Mediterranean, Yellow-legged and up to four Caspian Gulls amongst the commoner species.

    Hopefully more of the same will be had tommorrow!  There are still places so if you change your mind and fancy coming down just turn…

    • 21 Feb 2013
  • Looking for dinner

    We reckon that we now have two pairs of Barn Owl on the marsh with the Cordite pair being seen in the woodland box entrance most days and occasional sightings from Wennington and the west end of the reserve.

    Shaun Harvey was lucky enough to have this one appear right in front of him.


    • 21 Feb 2013
  • Budding young talent

    Met Rhys Adams yesterday on the reserve. He is nine years old and had borrowed his Dad's camera for the day and took so quite stylish landscape shots out on the trails... 

    See what you think, but I was impressed...



    • 21 Feb 2013
  • Furry sausages on the move!

    And with all the sunshine over the last two afternoons, there have been quite a few Water Vole sightings, especially from the Purfleet Hide Bridge and Troll Bridge.

    Ratty (Fred Roll)

    Lunchtime (Jerry Hoare)


    • 21 Feb 2013
  • Fog 'n' sun

    Yesterday was 'orrible until about 11am with the pea souper lingering longer than we expected...

    However, when it cleared it was glorious with blue, cloudless skies and sunshine although it remained cold.  Fred Roll got some good shots during the afternoon...

    Tufted Ducks


    A bit gloomy today and cooler but once again the sun was out for the afternoon.  Waders were god over the pools all day (regardless…

    • 21 Feb 2013
  • The last few days at Rainham...

    Been in Galway over the weekend so just a little catching up to do but as it is a pea souper here today, I cannot see me getting out much.

    Which is a pity as Lee Spence was lucky enough to see a Penduline Tit  in the reedmace just below the centre in the perimiter ditch.  Hopefully is the fog lifts I will get out for a look.

    Other than that, not a lot to add....


    • 19 Feb 2013
  • Another rodent bites the dust...

    Been looking through some shots from recent weeks and discovered these that had come into the Rainham email address.  Sorry I have not done anything with them sooner!

    And who should they all be off?? Kes of course!

    These two from Maggie and Dave Davis

    and this one from Shane Nash


    • 18 Feb 2013
  • Magical Moorland Sounds...

    Having a small flock of Curlew on the riverside and marsh has other bonuses other than just being able to watch these enigmatic birds... keep your ears open and you may hear the liquid bubbling song as one decides to defend it chosen patch of mud...

    Close your eyes, concentrate and transport yourself up onto a northern heather moorland where the species is also very much at home, where the song is coupled with a strange…

    • 17 Feb 2013
  • Almost a sping-like feel in the air

    Yesterday was not overly warm but the birds were all buoyed by the splash of sunshine. Skylarks were in song across the reserve and several showed well along the foreshore as they hovered overhead unsure as to whether or not to give it there all or to return to the saltmarsh to continue to search for a snack or two to see them through the day.

    Lapwings and Golden Plover were on the wing in skittish flocks all day once…

    • 16 Feb 2013
  • Rainham BLOG Page....

    Evening all...

    There have been some problems recently with the Rainham Marshes Homepage getting stuck and not updating....

    I have had many complaints that I had not updated the page since the 2nd February when in fact I had been doing so daily.  Today it is showing correctly...

    The best way to avoid this is to not click on the top shown blog post on the Homepage as you can neither go forward or backwards from there…

    • 16 Feb 2013
  • They have wings!

    At the moment the usual view of one of our Barn Owls is of it sitting sullenly in the mouth of it s box but yesterday evening both birds were actually out and about and hunting along the perimiter ditch as we closed up.  Brenda managed a couple of shots as they headed off to hunt.


    • 15 Feb 2013
  • Roosting up

    I spent the afternoon yesterday down at the Concrete Barges, scanning through the gulls (still spaces on the Klaus Gull ID Days by the way ... 01708 899 850) but only finding two Yellow-legged Gulls and a 1st winter Caspian Gull for my troubles. There were lots of Rooks and Jackdaws amongst the Carrion Crows and clouds of Starlings were swirling around.

    As the tide came in further, the Redshank started to arrive and…

    • 15 Feb 2013
  • Hang around...

    Our immature male Marsh Harrier is an almost daily visitor at the moment and has been seen hunting Aveley Pools both yesterday and this morning before heading south across the Thames to hunt on the Dartford / Crayford side.

    Snapped him this morning at about 9am as he was on his way...


    • 14 Feb 2013